Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Back to Old Blighty--2, Saffron Walden and Sunday Lunch in Cambridge

A few nights after we arrived in England, we had our first-of-many meetups with old friends. Mike shared a house with Vicky when he studied for his M.Phil in Victorian Literature at Linacre College, Oxford University. Vicky and her husband Nigel live not too far from Cambridge in a lovely, historic old mill house with their three children. Last time we were in the UK in 2007, they were the only ones we saw (being so close to Cambridge). Since then, their oldest son Jacob (and Mike's godson) visited us during his gap year.

We had a lovely evening with them, starting with a brisk walk through the countryside! 

Beautiful old church

Nearing the end of our country walk
One of the fun things about our visit back to England this summer was getting to know our friends' grown (or nearly grown) children. Jacob, Joshua, and Isobel are all lovely!

So nice to have three weeks off work and spend time with my family!

Chris made friends with Jacob and Joshua and later in our trip,
he took a trip to Thorpe Park (an amusement park) with them

Chris and Nick




Jacob, who was also a preemie

Yummy English BBQ, including potatoes they'd grown in their garden

Photogenic Isobel

Cuddling under a blanket as the evening got chilly

Sweet mother and daughter
The next day we went out for lunch in Cambridge at a buffet restaurant, followed by a trip to the movie theater, en masse, to see "Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again." We all enjoyed it, but some more than others!

The following day we had most of Mike's extended family over for lunch. Mike's dad had four sisters, and sadly all of that generation is gone now with the exception of Mike's mum and her brother-in-law...and one other brother-in-law in Scotland.

We had a great time catching up with the cousins, and the kids got along splendidly!

The lunch spread

Mike's cousin Kevin with his son Ali, who came to visit us several years ago on his gap year

Mike's cousin Paul's wife Sue, with niece Emily and her boyfriend

The last of the generation!

Lots of table tennis games!

Mike's cousin Kevin and his wife Kym

The younger set

Ali is now an engineer in Edinburgh,
and he came down to Cambridge for the visit!
When he visited us a few years ago, he was a huge hit with the boys!

Emily with her boyfriend Will

Mike with his sister Kath, our wonderful host!

The whole family!
The under-30s!

The over-30s!

Such a sweet couple!
Hugh Gilmartin's part of the family (missing four in Australia)
It turns out that Kieran is a beet lover, like many others in Mike's family!
(I am not much of a fan)